Kevin Wirth has the Vapors

Kevin Wirth shilling his book

Kevin Wirth telling us about his book

There’s a standup comedian (I’ve forgotten who) who says this (I’m quoting to the best of my memory here):

In the old movies the people have such interesting diseases. You know what I always thought would be cool to have? “The Vapors”! Characters were always getting that. Scarlett O’Hara says “I have to leave the room. I have the vapors.”

I finally found out what that is: Gas!

No, Scarlet. If you have the vapors, I think we’ll leave the room!

You might recall that back in May we looked at an ad for crackpot creatard Kevin Wirth’s forthcoming bowel movement, Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth about Killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters.

The book was supposed to be published at the end of May. Since that time, Kevin has emitted a lot of gas, but no book. I went by his website a few times in the intervening months. I saw that the book was then promised for the end of June, then July, and now August. It was beginning to look more and more like vaporware, so to speak.

Now I just received an email from Kevin’s no-budget creationism club, Access Research Network, promoting the book. Let’s take a look:

If you liked the movie Expelled, you are going to love this new book by Dr. Jerry Bergman. Ben Stein’s movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed has been called the “tip of the iceberg” regarding the discrimination that exists in many scientific, academic and media communities against those who challenge Darwin’s theory of evolution.

Actually, Expelled was called lots of things, very little of it flattering. Isn’t it interesting that they don’t tell us who called Expelled the “tip of the iceberg”? This is typical of most creationist flatulence. They make wild claims and then never back it up. But this is unusual behavior for Kevin Wirth. Love him or hate him, at least Kevin tells us who he’s quoting out of context. Tell you what, Kevin, you can quote me on this issue. Here you go:

Expelled is just the tip of the iceberg of retarded creationist lies.

Have at it, K-boy! You should be able to do the old P.T. Barnum on it and get a good positive review out of that.

Let’s get back to the email:

With the release of Jerry Bergman’s new book, Slaughter of the Dissidents, you are about to meet the rest of this Titanic-sized iceberg.

Yes. The creationist claim of discrimination sank faster than the Titanic.

Bergman experienced the slaughter of his own career over thirty years ago while teaching at Bowling Green University, which started him on a life-long quest to document the academic and religious discrimination exhibited against students, scientists and educators who dare to doubt Darwin.

No. We debunked this claim back in May. Bergman was fired for lying about his credentials.

Bergman interviewed over 300 people in his quest to document one of America’s growing hate crimes.

WOW!! Way to go, Kevin! That’s even wilder than most of your other delusional fantasies. A hate crime! Tell me, Kevin. How many creationists have been tortured, tied to a fence, and left to die?

Kevin's perception of evolutionary biologists

Darwinist picnic
(Photo courtesy of Kevin Wirth)

He also went to great lengths to interview folks on both sides of each case and sought to have each victim review his case description before publication.

So you’re admitting the book is biased. You interview people on both sides, but only bother to ask the people you agree with if you got the facts straight.

Using approximately 50 chapter-long case studies, Bergman then dives into a page-turning narrative…

Meaning that you’ll be turning the pages quickly, shrieking “It just goes on and on and on! One long boring rant of made-up stories!”

…describing how career after career was mowed down by the big Darwinian machine…

I’ve always loved Kevin’s purple prose. Mowed down! The big Darwinian machine! I think he means “swallowed by the massive gaping maw of creationist illogic!”

…and there is no end in sight of this growing discrimination, unless you get this book into the hands of everyone who cares about our academic and religious freedoms.

Why? So they can laugh at it?

If you follow the link in the email to ARN’s toxic waste dump, you’ll find a similar description (with bonus added typos!) and a table of contents:

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements.
Select Quotes
Introduction by Dr. D. James Kennedy
Introduction by Dr. John Eidsmoe
Introduction by Dr. Jerry Bergman
Chapter 1: A Context for Discrimination Against Darwin Skeptics by Kevin H. Wirth
Chapter 2: Intolerance Against Darwin Skeptics
Chapter 3: Denial of Earned Degrees
Chapter 4: The Public Lynching of Roger DeHart
Chapter 5: Professors Richard Bube and Dean Kenyon
Chapter 6: The Ray Webster Case
Chapter 7: Peloza, Bishop and Johnson
Chapter 8: Rodney LeVake and Larry Booher
Chapter 9: The Nancy Bryson Case
Chapter 10: Caroline Crocker: Expelled Twice
Chapter 11: The Case of Biology Professor Dan Scott
Chapter 12: Raymond Damadian: Inventor of the MRI
Chapter 13: Guillermo Gonzalez and the Privileged Planet
Chapter 14: Survivors Von Braun, Adler and Chain
Chapter 15: What Can Be Done?
Index.
Bibliography

I find a couple of hilarious things in the above list. First of all, it’s only 15 chapters. What did Kevin’s email say? Oh yeah:

…approximately 50 chapter-long case studies…

You see Kevin, I know that if you mumble, fifteen and fifty might sound alike, but they’re actually two different numbers! Good to see that you can’t even get your facts straight in your own advertisement.

The second source of hilarity is Kevin’s repeated use of the word “skeptic”. He’s not a creationist creatard! No! Our boy Kevin is a “Darwin Skeptic”! Please, Kevin, tell us just what that is. Apparently you’d like proof that Darwin existed. I can assure you that he did. I have affidavits!

I think we’d better take our leave of Kevin Wirth, Jerry Bergman, and Access Research Network now. They are the vapors!

Kevin's can talk about creationism and blow bubbles simultaneously

Kevin Wirth employee photo
(Photo by Access Research Network)

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(Actual photo credits: Top, many places on the web; Middle, Cañon City Public Library; Bottom, Germes)

17 Responses to “Kevin Wirth has the Vapors”

  1. Andrew N.P. Says:

    I’m a pretty big Darwin skeptic myself. Don’t get me wrong. I believe he existed, and I believe he was a very good scientist. I just don’t accept that he performed the miracles that Darwinists are so fond of, like multiplying finches, turning skin flaps into eyes, and raising extinct species from the earth.

  2. Parrotlover77 Says:

    I’m not sure I understand your slant, Andrew, but you speak funny words.

  3. Jason Failes Says:

    Chapter 1: Kevin Wirth, pure vapors.

    Chapter 2: Needs citations, names, evidence.

    Chapter 3: Needs citations, names, evidence.

    Chapter 4: Reassigned to Earth sciences course due to his persistent ignorance of scientific methodology, the First Amendment, and the vacuity and creationist history of the ID movement (see also Dover). He was not lynched, or assaulted, or even fired, just reassigned within the high school to a course he could presumably teach without injecting his own personal theological beliefs into the curricula. He later resigned and, unsurprisingly, transferred to a Christian school in California.

    Chapter 5: Bube actually trashed the God-of-the-gaps argument. Unless this is a similar-name problem, seems to be a working professor to this day. No other controversies are present.

    Kenyon is an outright “creation scientist”, and notable coward, once skipping town rather than testifying on the creationists’ behalf during a trial. Was once “censured by his SFSU departmental colleagues for allegedly teaching religion in his introductory biology course. Kenyon was eventually reinstated, and he claimed his colleagues’ objections rest on a naive, positivist view of what constitutes legitimate science”, ie he did not deny his inappropriate and unprofessional lectures, but rather sought to redefine science to legitimize it. Last generation’s Behe, essentially.

    Chapter 6: Ray Webster is another unapologetic creationist, who never denied his inappropriate teachings and instead tried to change the definition of both science and the first amendment to basically teach what he believed rather than objective facts and well-tested theories. He is not worth mentioning.

    Chapter 7: Peloza, another idiot, he understands neither science nor the constitution.

    Bishop: impossible to find, as there are countless “Bishop”s whining on about evolution.

    Johnson: Cannot find with no first name. Louis Johnson has a new album out called evolution, though 🙂

    Chapter 8: Rodney LeVake was one of the first to try to “teach the controversy” as a thinly-veiled attempt to cast nonfactual doubt on evolutionary theory.

    Larry Booher taught creationism in class and offered “extra credit” for creationist readings and projects. Came “under fire”, but no other actions against him were found.

    Chapter 9: Nancy Bryson was apparently a Young Earth Creationist, and warped her lessons to fit.

    Chapter 10: Caroline Crocker, complete idiot. This has to be read to be believed. I cannot believe that she got a job as a prof of biology at any university with her insane misunderstanding of evolutionary theory.

    Chapter 11: Dan Scott is either a fictional character or really, really obscure.

    Chapter 12: Raymond Damadian Claimed to be the inventor of the MRI. Also claimed, in 1977, the MRI could detect cancer anywhere in the body. It still cannot do this. Tried to complain his way into a Nobel. Favorite quote about him: “there is ‘no Nobel Prize for whining'”

    Chapter 13: Basically stopped all academic work, then bitched about not getting tenure.
    Wikipedia
    Panda’s Thumb
    Pharyngula

    Chapter 14: Von Braun may be Wernher von Braun who basically argues from incredulity, nothing more.
    Adler cannot be found without a full name. Same for Chain.

    Chapter 15: What can be done?
    • Don’t use examples that are clearly constitutional breaches, and display gross ignorance of evolutionary theory and clearly unprofessional behavior.
    • If your contention is that ID is a science, don’t use examples that are clearly creationist as if the two are the same thing (they are the same thing, but that’s what you are trying to hide, remember?)
    • Don’t use examples where the individual received a warning, a transfer, or even just verbal objections to their unprofessional behavior, if you’re trying to make a case for the so-called “slaughter of the dissidents”.
    • Don’t use examples that can be refuted by five seconds of research on wikipedia.
    • If you don’t have any genuine examples of persecution, maybe you should rethink your position. Learn about the current state of evolutionary theory, familiarize yourself with constitutional law, and the relevant legal precedents in cases such as this. All that denial must take up a lot of energy.

    Remember, you have a right to your own opinions, not to your own facts.

  4. Rogi Says:

    Well, Andrew, I’m an Adarwignostic, where I stipulate that we cannot know whether Darwin ever existed or not, let alone performed the above miracles. Although recently I’ve been leaning towards Adawirnist, since it’s very likely that Darwinists invented Darwin to give ultimate authority to the evolutionary theory. To quote chapter 5 line six word 10 of the Origin of Species “the”.

  5. Ron Britton Says:

    Jason:

    Thank you for such a thoroughly-researched comment! (It got stuck in my spam filter for a few hours because of all of the links, but I fished it out.)

    In the half-hour or so that it took you to research that, you managed to discredit the majority of this book that took Jerry Bergman “30 years to write” (which has to be the longest bowel movement in history).

  6. LadyRavana Says:

    You know, I used to like Ben Stein. Even though he was a staunch Republican, before the steaming pile of excrement known as “Expelled” came out (Ye Gods, I’d actually considered going to see it until I found out that it was a piece of “Intelligent Design” propaganda. I was like…”No. Just no.”) I actually pegged Stein to be an Athiest.

    A shame that he’s a creatard, really. I’ll always remember him saying in that perfectly deadpan voice “Bueller? Bueller?”

    And we haven’t seen good old Kevin Wirth around for awhile. He’s pretty entertaining, and I think calling him a “scientist” is laughable. You might as well take a Preacher, put him in a lab coat and glasses, and call him a scientist.

  7. Ron Britton Says:

    I doubt we’ll see him again. In his last comment, he whined about my no-quote-mining policy. The comments feature of this blog is designed for the readers to express their own opinions, not somebody else’s.

    Apparently Kevin is incapable of expressing a thought in his own words; thus, we can only assume that he is incapable of independent thought and has no ideas of his own. He must be the perfect sheep.

  8. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Chapter 12: Raymond Damadian Claimed to be the inventor of the MRI. Also claimed, in 1977, the MRI could detect cancer anywhere in the body. It still cannot do this. Tried to complain his way into a Nobel.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raymond_Damadian
    Favorite quote about him: “there is ‘no Nobel Prize for whining’”

    After reading the wikipedia article on that guy, that’s about the only example I’ve ever read where maybe, just maybe, there might be a little prejudice against a creatard. It’s a bit of a gray area from what I read on wikipedia, so I’m not convinced he was denied a part of the MRI Nobel due to his creatardedness, but it is honestly the first time I can actually see a possibility of a valid argument. However, a book on just one person to argue about a conspiracy against religion would be pretty weak, so that’s why we get to see the rest of the bowel movement.

  9. Ron Britton Says:

    PL:

    The Nobel Prize Committee has a long, glorious history of shafting co-contributors out of their fair share of the recognition (and money). That doesn’t make it right, but it shows a pattern of negligence or carelessness instead of malevolent intent.

    You can certainly make a case that Damadian should have been a co-recipient of the prize. You can also make a strong case that he shouldn’t. This appears to be one of those edge cases.

    The question before us is not whether Damadian deserved the prize. The question is whether the reason he was denied the prize is because he’s a wingnut. It is difficult to tell, because Wikipedia is a secondary source (and occasionally a quesitonable one). I know! Let’s check Conservapedia!

    But seriously, this is what Wikipedia has to say on the matter:

    Some consider Damadian to be a controversial figure in academic circles, not least for his exuberant behavior at conferences. He is also fundamentalist Christian and a young earth creationist and a member of the ‘Technical Advisory Board’ of the Institute for Creation Research. Philosopher Michael Ruse writing for the Metanexus Institute suggested that Damadian might have been denied a Nobel prize because of his creationist views, saying:

    “I cringe at the thought that Raymond Damadian was refused his just honor because of his religious beliefs. Having silly ideas in one field is no good reason to deny merit for great ideas in another field. Apart from the fact that this time the Creation Scientists will think that there is good reason to think that they are the objects of unfair treatment at the hands of the scientific community.” —M. Ruse

    Damadian himself said, “Before this happened, nobody ever said to me ‘They will not give you the Nobel Prize for Medicine because you are a creation scientist.’… If people were actively campaigning against me because of that, I never knew it.”

    Certainly the specter has been raised, but it seems more speculative in nature. Damadian himself said that he wasn’t aware of any anti-creationist influence. Absent stronger evidence, I’m inclined to say that this is yet another case of KW’s overactive persecution complex. He seems to project an awful lot into everything he sees. He must be a riot with Rorschach tests.

  10. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Good point, Ron. That’s pretty much what I meant. I guess I was just playing “devil’s advocate” in pointing out that I was shocked that there was even a shred of possibility (however unlikely) for this one, where the others were all pure BS.

  11. Jason Failes Says:

    Ron, thanks for fishing me out of the spam-waste bucket, wiping off the banana peels, coffee grinds, pages form the Koran, and discarded eucharists, reformatting to make the links look better (did you do that or is it automated?), and letting my comment see the light of virtual day.

    I really was afraid that it disappeared into an URL-hole, never to be seen again. There was some concern but, like you said, it’s not like I lost 30 years of work or anything…

  12. LadyRavana Says:

    Gotta love 30 years of research being completely refuted by 30 minutes of research on Wikipedia. …

  13. Brian Says:

    As good as this thread is, it just isn’t the same without Wirth’s insipid comments to unload on. C’mon, Kevin! Man up and give us something new to work with!

  14. Parrotlover77 Says:

    Be careful what you wish for. He’ll just dump 100 quotes on us to try to bury us in rubble.

  15. Steve Cathery Says:

    That Johnson you were looking for in the above list would be Philip Johnson. A lying scum fundie, who wrote a book called Darwin On Trial.

  16. Michael Says:

    Dr. Raymond Damadian was the inventor of the MRI, he started using it in the 1970s. Then we see in 2001 Dr. Damadian was granted the Lemelson-MIT Prize for Lifetime Achievement for being “the man who invented the MRI scanner.

    Despite opposition from skeptics like theoretical physicists who did not believe it could not be done, he did it anyway and succeeded. There is no strong case to deny this man the Nobel Prize.

    Dr Eugene Feigelson, from the State University of New York College of Medicine in New York, where Damadian’s pioneering work was done. He said, ‘… we are so disappointed, and even angry … all of MRI rests on the fundamental work that Dr Damadian has done here.’

    Yes, Dr Paul Lauterbur and Sir Peter Mansfield, did contribute to the field. Lauterbur worked on techniques for producing images from these MRI scans and Mansfield refined the those techniques.

    There is absolutely no strong argument for denying Dr. Raymond Damadian’s invention of the MRI. Without Damadian’s vision the other two could not have invented their techniques!

  17. Jeff Eyges Says:

    Ron, go take a look at Michael’s blog. It’s a hoot.

    One of his comments, a reply to a detractor: “natural selection has never produced anything new, all it does is choose which trait is dominate [sic]. Only irrational Darwinists take it to the extreme and argue from a point of ignorance and emotion.” Right. Well, it’s a good thing creationists are immune to that sort of behavior!

    Why do fundies so often stumble upon these threads a year or more after they’ve become dormant, take a dump and then leave?